MSU to host virtual field day on practical strategies for responsible use of antimicrobials in livestock production

October 26 event titled "Management Over Medication in Livestock Production" will focus on practical strategies for responsible use of antimicrobials in food animals raised on farms of any size, and why this is important

Michigan State University will host a virtual field day focusing on responsible use of antimicrobials in livestock on Tuesday October 26 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

This virtual field day event will feature leading researchers and outreach specialists representing Michigan State University and Kansas State University and include local farmers and meat retailers who will describe why sound antimicrobial stewardship is critical to the future of livestock production, including how it can be implemented effectively on farms of any size. 

Consumers today want to be assured that their meat and dairy products come from farmers who understand that responsible use of antimicrobials is critical to the long-term health and well-being of their herds, the environment and of people Madonna Benjamin, DVM, College of Veterinary Medicine

Antimicrobials have been used to help prevent and treat disease in food animals for over 70 years. In 2017, U.S. meat and dairy industries implemented Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) guidelines in response to increasing public concern over perceived excessive use of antibiotics in livestock and its potential impact on antibiotic resistance.  

The VFD bans use of medically important antibiotics (antibiotics used in human medicine) in animal feed and water to promote growth and improve feed efficiency, while allowing their continued use under close supervision by veterinarians to prevent or treat disease. These guidelines have resulted in substantial reductions in the use of feed-grade antimicrobials by farmers and have increased the importance of using sound farm management practices to help maintain healthy animals.

This event will provide timely information for farmers raising any type of livestock, as well as other stakeholders in the meat/dairy industries, including veterinarians, inspectors/auditors, educators, students, researchers, packers and retailers.  

Our field day panel will provide information and ideas on responsible use of antimicrobials from their perspective as farmers, vendors and researchers who are leaders and innovators in this critical aspect of food production Dave Thompson, PhD, MSU-Extension/Pork Team

It will include a panel discussion on the future of antimicrobial use in food animals and offer attendees opportunities to question leading experts in this field. Registration and attendance will satisfy requirements for CE credits such as PAACO recertification.

Participants must register online for this event; a Zoom link for the event will be sent to the address they provide at registration. Questions about registration should be directed to Shelby Warner at or Megghan Honke at


Program and speakers

Ruegg_Pamela_2015bxProfessor Pamela L. Ruegg, DVM, MPVM, David J. Ellis Professor of Antimicrobial Resistance and Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University will describe How Animal Agriculture Can Benefit from Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs - Usage of antibiotics in food producing animals is increasingly controversial and restricted. Adoption of antimicrobial stewardship programs is encouraged to help producers proactively optimize antibiotic usage while maintaining both treatment efficacy and animal welfare. This brief presentation will introduce some concepts of an antimicrobial stewardship program while focusing on practical benefits that accrue to farms when steps are made to improve decision-making for antimicrobial use. 

Phil_DurstPhil Durst, MS, Michigan State University – Extension, Statewide Dairy Educator. Phil Durst is a field-based Educator with more than 30 years Extension experience working with dairy farmers and will speak on Stewardship of Antibiotics and Animal Health on a Michigan Dairy Farm. Phil and Ciarra LaHuis, MSU graduate student, will have a conversation with Jack Jeppesen of Black Locust Dairy about what stewardship means to him and how they manage use of antibiotics. They will explore issues of balancing animal well-being with consumer confidence and discuss management strategies to reduce the need for antibiotic use.

Matt SmithMatt Smith, President, Louise Earl Butcher, Grand Rapids, MI – Matt Smith will talk about Retail Advocacy and Consumer Support, including his role and relationship with the small local farms that supply his Grand Rapids-based Whole Animal Butcher Shop.  “First, I will give our history of how the butcher shop came to be, 6 years ago. Then, I’ll focus on the relationship we have with our farmers. This will be a discussion on the animals, how they are raised using a Management over Medicine approach, how they move from the farms to our shop and how these wholesome principles fit with our values and our customers.  

Mike ApleyProfessor Mike Apley, DVM, PhD, DACVCP, Kansas State University, will share his vision for The Future of Antimicrobials in Food Animal Production. Professor Apley began his veterinary medicine career with a general practice in central Kansas. He joined the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005 as a professor of veterinary clinical sciences where he teaches beef production medicine, large-animal medicine and clinical pharmacology courses and holds the E.J. Frick Professorship in Veterinary Medicine. In addition to his role as an educator, Dr. Apley has conducted industry research focusing on infectious diseases, antibiotic efficiency and resistance, and has served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

View event flyer

Did you find this article useful?